|Plan Region||California state|
|Entry reviewed by original author||Yes|
|PDF attachment||View the Full Report|
|Plan Title||The New Mainstream: A Sustainable Food Agenda for California for Review by the Roots of Change Council and the Roots of Change Fund|
|Webpage||Roots of Change Website|
|Author(s)||Ecotrust (Food and Farms Program); Roots of Change|
|Author Type||Non-profit; Food Policy Council|
|Funding Sources||Foundations; Individual Donors|
|Funders||Roots of Change (ROC) Fund. ROC is funded by: Arkay Foundation, Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, Columbia Foundation, Fred Gellert Family Foundations, Gala Fund, Marisla Foundation, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, William Zimmerman Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.|
|Total Project Budget||Unspecified|
|Plan Goals||To create a more sustainable CA food system via social, economic, and environmental levers. Includes 22 more specific goals to achieve these objectives.|
|Intended Audience||Roots of Change Council; Roots of Change Fund|
|Plan Recommendation Structure||The plan outlines recommendations under 4 key sections, each with detailed recommendations for Roots of Change to reach the overarching goals of a sustainable CA food system.|
Plan Sections:1. A theory of change drawing on Kim and Anderson’s taxonomy of systems diagrams and archetypes. The “Limits to Growth” archetype was used to examine mechanisms that would limit the expansion of convention and niche-sustainable food systems. The “Shifting the Burden” archetype revealed the need for strategies that reinforce sustainability values while reducing barriers to fundamental change towards sustainability, such as building “broad alliances based on opportunity-criteria.” (p. 6)
2. A 2030 vision for CA food system, including a food systems actors analysis, 11 values for a new food system, and 22 goals to reach this vision;
3. An agenda for change. This section includes the most impactful recommendations to achieve the identified goals. Recommendations are broken into three initiatives (1. “The Best and Brightest: respected, competent, mission-driven leadership and workforce; 2. Get Fresh: healthy, community-based food systems; 3. A New Urban-Rural Partnership: Linking communities, economics and the environment” (p. 25)), with strategies to achieve these, as well as indicators of success (e.g. recommendations to measure the progress of reaching their goals);
4. Finally, a compiled recommendation list for the audience, Roots of Change Council. This list distills the above sections and includes recommendations for how ROC Council should move forward with this project, such as the adoption of the suggested theory of change, and suggestions for stakeholder engagement, among others (see p. 67).
|Catalyst for Plan||This project began in 1999, spurred in part by conversations between public and private grantmakers who wanted to see major shifts towards a more sustainable CA food system. Susan Clark (with Columbia Foundation at the time) and Bruce Hirsch from Heller Foundation were major proponents of the project and co-chaired the effort.|
|Creation Process||1. Interviewed 65 food systems leaders to determine components and underlying values of the food system and goals for the food system.|
2. Based on the interviews, constructed a “food systems wheel” outlining key components of the food system.
3. Based on the interviews, evaluated current theories of change for the food systems.
4. Developed a new theory of change, diagrammed using systems thinking tools.
5. Developed an evaluation system of sustainable food system values.
6. Based on the interviews and a lit review, identified differences between sustainable “value chains” and conventional “supply chains.”
7. Based on the interviews, defined 22 goals for the CA food system; refined goals with ROC council.
8. Identified and tested the sustainable food systems mission with individuals and groups.
9. Developed a scenario-building tool to model statewide smart growth strategies for California, emphasizing preserving farmland, and compared to “business as usual” projections.
10. Developed a dataset for agro-ecological zones in CA where practices can be applied.
11. Developed a toolset for distributing projected population demographics with or without smart growth accommodations.
12. Developed a toolset for projecting where different types of food outlets may exist in future scenarios.
13. Developed a toolset to project the number of schools and restaurants needed to serve the future population.
14. Developed a toolset to evaluate how different value chains may interact in the future.
15. Interviewed 27 producers to fill data gaps on how sustainable food systems operate.
16. Identified 700 datasets to be used for modeling.
17. Produced 22 reports (e.g. “Knowledge Products”), some with contracted organizations (e.g., NRDC), on issues and trends in sustainable food systems transitions.
18. Conducted second-round interviews with 84 food system leaders to identify additional transition strategies for sustainable food systems.
19. Compiled qualitative and quantitative information into “Bold Agenda for Change,” developed based on the project’s theory of change.
20. Identified 77 indicators of success for a sustainable food system, based on ideas from stakeholders and data managers. Winnowed this list of indicators down to primary indicators, supplemental indicators, cross-cutting indicators, and ideal or “wish list” indicators.
|Theoretical Frameworks Employed||Systems Thinking|
|Theoretical Framework(s): Additional Literature||Daniel Kim and Virginia Anderson’s body of work on systems diagrams and archetypes. Systems Archetype Basics: From Story to Structure is their foundational text outlining these concepts.|
|Development Timeline||Approx. 1.5 years|
|Implementation Strategy||The final section of this plan compiles recommendations for the project team, Roots of Change Council, to adopt in order to achieve community-based implementation of their “Agenda for Change.” These include long-term objectives coupled with short-term strategies (see p. 67).|
|Implementation Timeline||25 years (by 2030)|
|Evaluation Strategy||This plan outlines evaluation strategies, or “indicators” for 18 or the 22 goals. The project developed a set of 11 criteria by which to assess the appropriateness of indicators, and each indicator must satisfy a set of 10 principles to be considered appropriate (pg. 58). The indicators suggest the measurement of change within each sector. For example, measurement of “Daily per capita servings of fruit and vegetables” (p. 59).|
|International Development Framework(s)||None|
|Current Plan Status||Inactive|
|Government Adoption Status||Not Adopted|
|Government Adoption Status (Notes)||Adopted by Roots of Change Council, which implemented many of the plan’s recommendations, emphasizing increasing coordination and collaboration among like-minded organizations. This seems to have sparked other initiatives, one of which was an Ag Vision that was adopted by the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA). According to ROC, subsequent CDFA strategic plans have also drawn from this plan.|
|Supplemental Documents||View Supplemental Documents:|
Ecotrust (2012). Resilience & Transformation: A Regional Approach
Silverman & Hill (2018). The dynamics of purposeful change: a model.
Silverman, Brady & Meter. (2005). Sustainable Food Systems: Working Towards a Fundamental Solution.